Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) and Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) have recently entered into a partnership for collaborative research and quality improvement.
According to Dr. Mohamed Gazarin, WDMH's Chief Research Officer, the partnership is a "win-win-win" situation. For KDH, it means access to WDMH's proven quality improvement and patient safety resources and materials, so the smaller hospital doesn't have to "reinvent the wheel" when developing quality improvement initiatives. For WDMH, the agreement provides a new partner in its research proposals. "The third winner," explained Gazarin, "is the Canadian rural healthcare system, which achieves both cost savings because of better utilization of resources, and a more robust rural research outcome."
Cathy Burke, VP of Nursing/Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive at KDH, agreed. "We are excited about this new partnership as it will enable us to take quality improvement projects already successfully implemented at WDMH and replicate them here at KDH for the direct benefit of our patients," she said.
The neighbouring Eastern Ontario hospitals have already submitted two joint rural research proposals to The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The first proposal focuses on de-prescribing of medication for people over 65; the project will entail implementing an inpatient de-prescribing program developed by WDMH to support residents of the western region of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). The second research proposal is about enhancing "transitions in care" for patients moving from hospital out to the community in rural areas, streamlining the process for improved patient care and follow-up.
"As hospitals with different areas of specialization, it's so beneficial for all concerned – but particularly the people that we serve – when we share resources and transfer knowledge from one organization to another," noted Cholly Boland, WDMH's CEO.
"The partnership with WDMH is "very much in keeping with our strategic direction to build and facilitate partnerships among health service organizations in our region to help make coordinated care a reality for our patients and families," added Frank J. Vassallo, KDH's CEO.